Tuesday, March 30, 2010

She Is Seven

picky purple pixie 9
Oh how long she has waited to finally be seven!! This birthday, by far, has taken the longest to get here, for her. LOL. We have a game we play as a family called "Whoonu" (it is a Cranium game!), and who-goes-first is decided by which birthday comes next. Since her last birthday, she has had to wait through Daddy's birthday, Pappy's birthday, Andrew's birthday, Gee's birthday, Jacob's birthday, and Momma's birthday before it was her turn to go first. You can see why it felt like it was taking forever.

picky purple pixie 8
picky purple pixie 5
I wanted to put together a list of things about Lauren at seven that I don't want to forget. I thought I would share them with you.

*Current nicknames are: Missy Do, Bugaboo, Miss Rotten, and LaurenAnnie
*She can read up a storm. There isn't a word she can't decode. Her favorite book today is One Fish Two Fish, by Dr. Suess.
*She is a professional dillydaddiler, she can make molasses look fast.
*Lauren loves to sing and every song she makes up uses the word love.
*She gives the biggest kisses on my cheeks and forehead. Almost too many, lol, Daddy could get jealous.
*She likes to sleep on the floor in my room when she is sick.
*Definitely a night owl, and not a morning person.
*Current Best Friends are: Ryan, Samantha, Sophia, and Bryanie
*She still lets me twirl her when she walks down aisles.
*She has been riding a two wheeler for years now, but still isn't confident about swimming.
*She loves Jacob more than anyone else in the house.
*My Dad likes to tell her she has a million dollar smile and a twenty-nine cent frown. That makes her smile.
*Lauren knows her mind and can be very very ornery, especially in the morning.
*She still insists she will be a bike maker and artist when she grows up. And when she is done with that, she will teach 1st grade.

picky purple pixie 3

I could go on and on, I love her so much. I will just say... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOO!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Charmed Ramblings

charming 2
charming 1
:: I finished a sweater this weekend. It is called "Charming" and it was my third attempt at making a sweater I would wear with this lovely yarn. Third time was definitely the 'charm'... second day in a row that I have been wearing it.
:: I am giving up coffee. Between a week of really bad left breast pain, and the ringing in my ears being louder than ever, it is time to give it up.
:: There is a birthday in the house!! Guess who's seven tomorrow?!?
:: Kit #3 is done and kit #4 starts today.
:: I can see the finish line of this mass kit making experiment. Thank goodness.
charming 4
charming 5
:: Apparently, my family says I say "oh goodness" when I don't know what else to say. And my Dad say he likes it because his Grandpa (my Great Grandpa) did it too.
:: How in the world does my Dad remember things like that?
:: I keep thinking I will have time to work on a piece of jewelry, but kit making is draining me. I must must must make time for it.
:: I need to get back on a running schedule. I feel like a sloth and think I am extra plump in these photos. (Trust me, I picked good ones, on purpose.)
:: It isn't about the number on the scale, it is about how you feel. I feel like crud.
charming 7
charming 8
:: Lots of birds chirping today. Lots.
:: The say it is gonna be 80 this weekend! Happy Easter!!
:: I like it when Jacob walks around the house laughing to himself and when I ask him about it, he laughs his way through telling me some random scene in Toy Story 1. What pre-teen does that?
:: Oh, no Twisted Tuesday tomorrow... it is a party day. See random thought above having you guess who is turning seven.
:: Where is the ibuprofen, this coffee thing is going to be difficult.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blog Tour - Art Bead Scene and MORE!

Later today you'll be able to find me over at Art Bead Scene with Heather Powers of Humble Beads. She'll be reviewing Totally Twisted and sharing projects she created inspired by the book. Yoo HOO! Thanks Heather!

I am so excited to get to share this next announcement with you. Over the next six weeks, each Friday, I will be visiting blogs on a virtual blog tour!! Cool huh? Me, on tour. Who woulda thunk it? HA! This is going to be so much fun. There will be reviews, Q&A's, maybe even a Podcast, live stuff from Wire Fest, and give aways too. I am so so excited. SO, without further ado... I give you my tour dates and locations.

March 19th - Sweet Bead Studio
March 26th - Art Bead Scene
April 2nd - Crafty Pod
April 9th - Live from Wire Fest
April 16th - Beading Arts
April 23rd - Craft Gossip

Each week, I will do a reminder post (like this one) of where I will be that Friday and what we'll be doing that day. I hope you'll join me for it!! I also wanted to share this with you because I think it is freaking awesome. Check out this group of snippets that other artists/authors/designers/people have been saying about the book. (eeekkk, I am so proud!)

'Takes you on an amazing step-by-step journey for learning to combine interesting wirework with the beauty of colorful lampwork beads' –The Detroit News

'The step-by-step directions and great photography make this a good choice for all ability levels.' –Austin American-Statesman

'I'm confident that I could tackle the projects in this book after reading the how-tos in the opening chapters.'–CanadianLiving.com

'This book is delightful to view and filled with interesting new techniques and meticulous approaches to the familiar... this is one of those books you'll want to have in your studio to keep referencing. It's a fun read too.'–Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter ™

'Kerry's book has been such a helpful resource... I think you'll find that too. From simple things like reminding us to file the flush-cut ends of wire, to challenging us with advanced wire techniques-there really is something for everyone in this book!' –Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

'Now here’s something you don’t see every day: an array of bright and bold wirework jewelry projects fashioned out of art glass beads and wire coils in every color of the rainbow, great ideas for using spirals in unexpected ways (including as an added decorative element to ear wires), even instructions for fashioning beads out of colored wire.'–Crafter's Choice Book Club

'Kerry has a natural eye for color but understands not everyone does. The photos throughout the book are fantastic and the explanation is clear, just like Kerry is sitting next to you.'–Barbe Saint John, Jewelry Making Editor, CraftGossip.com

'Many of the methods she uses may be familiar to most of us but she has her own "twist" on how to approach them. Kerry Bogert's book is a testament to her obvious belief in experimenting and having fun while doing it.'–Tammy Powley, About.com Guide to Jewelry Making

'Incorporating big, honkin' glass beads with wire can be a challenge. But Kerry does so in ways that make it look effortless. Get this book whether you're a newbie or a pro. It'll make you smile!'–Jean Campbell, former editor, Beadwork magazine

'This fresh approach to design shows jewelry artists the secret to combining sterling silver wire with colored wire and glass beads to produce high-end looks. The clear instructions and excellent photography make recreating these designs a snap.'–MonstersandCritics.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nanu's Late Stinky Feet Covers

stinky feet one
stinky feet two
This really is one of those morning that where I think I should just skip blogging. This is post #1170 and *sigh* I can't think of a thing to say. I am hoping that sharing photos of Andrew's socks might spark a conversation for us. Oh goodness, ya know what, I feel like *sighing* every five minutes this morning. Or maybe they are deep breaths more than they are sighs. I think the hectic nature of the past few days has me thankful for a slower day today. Which will be full in ways other than running around.

So, yes, these are "Stinky Feet Covers", but may also be called "Stinky Feet Creators" as well. LOL. My Christmas creating was so flurrious this past year that I took on more project than I could finish in time. Andrew and I had a conversation about this, and he agreed that if he could pick out the yarn for his Momma-made socks, he would be okay with getting them at a later date. One very snowy evening, after an evening doctor appointment, Nanu and I hit up a couple of the local yarn stores in search of *his* yarn. This Cascade 220 Superwash Paints is what he picked and the pattern I used was Thuja from Knitty.com. This pattern and I are really a match made in heaven. I wouldn't have the patience for sock weight yarn and size 2 needles, but size 6s and a thicker weight are perfect for me.

stinky feet three
stinky feet four
Yes, yes, I know I should have started these the day I got the yarn. It was the heart of Winter and his could feet could have used the warmth before Spring. I just plain didn't wanna. But week before last, I spent the entire day sitting with my Grandma and I knew his sock would be just the thing to work on while we chatted. I got to hear about the only pair of socks my Grandma ever knit. They were knee high and white, for my Grandpa, and they took almost 3 years to finish. He lost one the first time he wore them and Grandma didn't have the patience to knit a replacement. LOL. She said she still has the one. I didn't ask to see it though, she was in and out of being very sad that day and I didn't want to add to it but pulling more old memories out of the drawer.

Anyway, you should know, we have a standing joke in this house about the kids and their stinky vinegar feet. It is how my Mom and I would get them to bathe when they were toddlers. We would smell their feet while they were in the tub, then squeal about the stink, and scrub them up. Even now, when the come home from school and drop their stuff by the door, I often hear myself saying "who's got stinky vinegar feet? get in the shower." Nine times out of ten, it is Andrew. My boy lives in the same socks for days, nay weeks, straight if you don't watch him like a hawk and make him change his socks. I kid you not. I have to sneak into the bathroom while he is showering, grab his socks off the floor, and put them down the laundry shoot or he will put the same ones back on. Gross.

stinky feet five
stinky feet six
I put the finishing touches on these last night. About 10pm, I snuck into his room, pushed back the covers, and whispered "let me have your feet, I have a surprise for you." I peeled off the yucky socks he was wearing, and put these on his toes. Then, this morning, when just enough light came into his room, I pushed back all his blankets again and caught this early morning stretch. Can you see the stretch in the photos? Imaging him in a ball in the first two photos there... then he uncurled and pointed his toes in the second two... then relaxed and fell back to sleep in the last two. It was a nice way to start the morning.

Now with Andrew, there are no thank yous. As he stumbled around the kitchen this morning, I asked "so? do ya like your new socks?". To which he replied in a very duh-mom tone "yeah, I love 'em". That works for me.

And looky that... I did have more to say than I thought today. *sigh*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Some FAQs

disc beads 1
Don't forget! There is still time to enter Cindy Wimmer's give away of Totally Twisted!! Hope on over and leave a comment to enter, and there are way to get extra entries too. She will draw the winner tomorrow!! I am having so much fun reading all your comments on her blog. Y'all are sooo wonderful to me :)

For today's Twisted Tuesday, I thought I would touch on a few of the frequently asked questions I have been getting in my inbox. Or rather, they aren't frequently asked. They are the questions that have popped up and I thought more than one of you might like the answer to. Let's get on with it, shall we?

Q1: Kerry, the book looks great, how much did it cost you to make?
A1: Funny FAQ to start with huh? Well, this really is the most asked question and it mostly comes from people I see in person, like family members. Apparently, they all think I self-published the book, but nope! Interweave is my publisher, and they paid me to write, I didn't have to pay them to publish it. For those interested in publishing, I received an advance against royalties. Which means, I have already been paid everything I will be paid and won't receive additional royalties until/if there is a second printing.

Q2: Will the coating rub off on that colored wire you use?
A2: Unfortunately, I can't give you a direct answer on this one. There are really too many variables to answer. But, more often than not, if you aren't treating your jewelry respectfully, it is going to wear off. What do I mean by respectfully? You are creating ART JEWELRY and your jewelry should be treated with care and worn with love. It should not be left in the bottom of your purse with your keys and cell phone. The coating is very durable though, and I have found that if I am mindful of how hard I am tooling it, and I don't have something abrasive rubbing directly on the wire, it folds up just dandy.

Q3: Can you hammer the colored wire?
A3: YES! And I tested this!! Keep your hits true and it can be done. I would practice it first though. Make a test link, hammer it, see what happens, and go from there.

Q4: Can the wire be put through a rolling mill?
A4: I actually had to look up what a rolling mill is for this one (thanks Dee!). Now that I know that a mill is for flattening wire into a sheet, I would say no, you can't put it in a rolling mill. I don't think that the coating would hold up to being stretched like that. But hey, I could be wrong. Test it out! But for the average beader, you do not need a rolling mill. (and the fact that the cheapest on I saw was $295 makes me thankful I don't need one.)

Q5: Are those really your hands in the photos?
A5: Yes, and I had a manicure... only the second one I have ever had in my life, LOL. And thanks to the amazing Joe Coca for making the step by step shots look so fantastic.

Q6: Have you ever had trouble with your colored wire fading?
A6: Personally, no. I have, on a rare occasion, received a random spool of wire that wasn't consistently colored. Actually, it was only once, and it was a spool of lavender. I actually really loved that spool, I liked the effect that the discolored spots gave to my coils. But overall, no, I haven't had any fading. I would say, keep your wire stored in a toolbox or something where it can be hidden from direct sun when it isn't in use and that way, if you are worried about fading, it is less likely to happen.

Q7: When is book 2 coming out?
A7: Ummm, I dunno. LOL. I am still riding the high from this book and am really looking forward to teaching the projects and techniques in it over the coming year. I have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head for book two that I am really excited about though. So I am slowly, SLOWLY I say!, starting to work on a proposal for book two. You all will be the first to know if it is a go. If you keep buying up all the copies of Totally Twisted, there is a much better chance it will happen sooner rather than later. :)

If you have questions you would like me to answer in the next Twisted Tuesday FAQ, send me an email and I will add it to the list of Qs for the next FAQ post!

timeless kits

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rooster Rundown

:: another sleepless night because my mind wouldn't shut up and go to sleep. it was organizing thoughts Random Monday, lol
:: can't remember half the stuff that my brain had organized last night
:: OH CRAP, sales tax paperwork is due today... can.not.forget.that.
:: Jacob thinks Tiger isn't nervous about the Masters, I think... I don't care!
:: this little rooster man was hanging out on a mailbox and I saw him on my walk last week, little cutie
:: EEEEkkkk, gonna register for my first Gathering at noon today!! another can.not.forget.that. thing
:: got a couple of really cool new jewelry designs in the works
:: need to finish said jewelry designs asap & photograph them because there are a few show applications due the first week in April
:: feeling rather agitated suddenly, grrrr... I really don't like having certain conversations.
:: some tutu twirling may be in order and really loud music.
:: wonder if I can concentrate enough to do those stupid taxes with really loud music playing?
:: stupid Mondays

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog Tour - Sweet Bead Studio!

EEEEKKKK!! I am so excited about this! I "blog book tour" is finally getting started. Each Friday over the next few weeks, Totally Twisted is going to be the highlight on a new blog. I am really excited to hear impressions about the book from so many different people. I couldn't think of a better place to start the tour than with my best beading pal, Cindy Wimmer over at www.sweetbeadstudio.com. Click the link and go see what Cindy and I are up to over at her blog. And um... warning... she made me cry.

Oh and guess what... there is a TOTALLY TWISTED giveaway involved!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What I learned while walking...

spring walk 1
After that very early morning start yesterday, the day turned into a rather interesting one. I had all these intentions of getting so much done but turns out that wasn't what was really in store for the day.

So, to start, I spent an awful long time surfing the web and visiting favorite blogs and finding new ones. It reminded me again, how much photos can really fire me up. I see so many images that make me say "THAT, that is what I want my photos to look like... how does she do that?" I don't know if I ever told you this, but I took photography in high school, so I actually know what ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed are, though I may not remember their proper definitions and how to control them. I really really wanted, in an instant yesterday morning, to find a good e-course on photography. I was like my kids when they go into mission mode... must.find.what.I.want.or.all.is.lost. kinda mission mode. Alas, I didn't find what I want. But I did read a lot about what many of the e-courses out there do with combining learning techniques with learning more about yourself through photos and writing projects. With encouragement from friends, and some tips about camera settings I set about my house, in the low morning light and took some photos. And all turned out rather dull. Why? I think because I wasn't really connected to the moment.

I am so very easily distracted on days like yesterday. My fatigue weakens my ability to focus and reel my wants for the day into one place. So, I ended up chatting on the phone with friends (love that!), instead of working...I took more pictures instead of cleaning... and I finally got to the point where I decided to embrace my scatter-brain for the day and go for a walk. And, I decided to make an assignment of it and bring my camera along.

The weather yesterday was incredible, just awesome. There was crystal blue skies, the sun was so warm (the first 60+degree day of the year), and I opened the doors and windows to let that springiness in, before heading out the door myself. So there I was, walking in my favorite Converse One-Stars, feeling the warmth on my very very pale skin, just taking it all in. I looked around me and tried to seek out what was "me" in the "around me". I am going to be very honest here... there wasn't anything I wanted to photograph apart from that blue sky.

I think what I discovered about myself on that walk is that I am not a spring loving girl. This time of year is very ugly to me. The grass is all muddy and matted from the melting snow with stones from the road half way up every ones lawn. There is trash everywhere and when you take a deep breath it smells of damp and rot around you (maybe that was because it was trash collection day though). The only birds chirping where crows and their caws were eerie. There wasn't a leaf to be seen or a flower to be found. Life isn't here yet. And what I was seeing made me think of death and neglect not hope and life returning. As I walked I tried not to dwell on the despair I started to feel and I thought more on what the other seasons make me feel. Summer has a hurried vibrancy, Fall has a gathering warmth, and Winter has an almost comforting solitude about it. Fall is my favorite by far, and I hope that I will remember to take this same walk then, and have a comparison of the two times of year, and my feelings on it for you.

The walk I set out on was about 3.5miles and since I wasn't finding things around me to take photos of, as I walked I decided to take photos of myself. I am sure the passing cars thought it odd that a girl in a bright red sweater and jeans was holding a camera in the air and pointing at herself. But who cares? These two photos capture things that I will shyly say I like about myself. Yes, I say it shyly. I don't like sounded arrogant and full of myself saying look at me, look at me, I think I am awesome. First, in the top photo, my hair. I love the color, I love the shininess, I love when I can pull it into two messy buns, and I love it so much that I am getting it cut today, LOL. (but not a lot, just a trim) In the bottom photo I tried to catch the sun on my shoulders. I loved that warmth yesterday, and I have always like my shoulders, LOL... a silly part of your body to like, yes, but that is me.

As I said, I am being honest here, and I could tell you that I felt wonderful by the time I got home from my walk, but that would be a lie. I was miserable. I felt horrible, not physically, the exercise felt good, but I felt it emotionally. I was in a down right rotten mood. Rotten, I say! So, I did the only thing I know helps when my mood is rotten, I turned to jewelry. I brought some wire up out of my dungeon studio, and sat in the living room with the windows open and wired. By the time the kids got home, I was exhausted but feeling better. We chatted in the sun with the neighbors while swinging on play sets no longer covered in snow. And I enjoyed some boiled cabbage and cornbeef, even if no one else did, lol (why can't kids taste the goodness in a chunk of boiled cabbage?). All in all, an interesting day.

spring walk 2

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cabbage & Carrots

rusty's window
(this photo has nothing to do with today's post, lol... Rusty so loves that window)

I did not sleep well last night, as is evident by my 6am blogging. Had I slept well, I would still be in bed for another 45 mins or so. Instead I was at Wegmans by 5:10am buying eggs, milk, coffee creamer, doughnuts, yummy crusty bread, carrots, cabbage, and a cornbeef brisket. The highlights of my morning trip... not a car in site, an empty store aside from the very friendly guys stocking the shelves, discovering that my peppermint mocha creamer is going to be available year round, and getting myself a cherry bialy. Yeah, so, early morning grocery store runs have their perks, I would rather not make a habit of it though.

I must say, I am feeling a little loony in these wee hours. Did I really just say peppermint mocha and cornbeef in the same paragraph? Those don't go together very well. That is the thing with me isn't it though? My *likes* rarely make a whole lot of sense. At least, not to others, they make perfect sense to me. Anyway.

I am not sure where I am going with any of this. I just kinda feel like chit chatting. Oh, Jacob came home sick from school yesterday with a stomach bug but seemed fine enough to eat non-stop by about 4pm, so I am sending him to school today. Makes me wonder if the nurse at school actually saw him get sick or if he was avoiding something. I brought that up to him and I got a very, what is the right word?, hurt... no, offended... of-course-I-am-not-avoiding-anything-Mom-you-think-I-would-fake-something-like-this answer. He did sleep for about four hours, LOL, so I'll chalk it up to more of a mental health day than a sick day. And goodness knows we all need those around here.

Jacob being home really messed with my bead making mojo (thanks for all the wonderful comments yesterday, by the way). I had a plan about what I had to get done and when. Carrie wasn't happy about getting a much later start to working than she had hoped. So, *I* took over and just kinda wandered around my mind with some ideas that were starting to form. I had fun spinning discs (you'll see what I mean in a few day) and the colors are my absolute favorite. And making beads to build a beautiful piece is all well and good, but not going according to schedule. Today, I will really need to get back to what needs doing. Oh, and what little I did do that I was supposed to do didn't turn out at all how I hoped. So, I am thinkin' back to basics for the Timeless bangle beads. Meaning simple designs in wonderful color combinations. Yeah, that'll work.

Ya know, I think I could sit here and go on for a while, lol. But I think it better not to bore you. Enjoy your St.Patty's Day, eat your cornbeef and boiled cabbage, and mind your pints and quarts. (Did you know that is what "mind your p's & q's" means? Yeah, it is an Irish bar thing. And there is plenty more useless information where that came from!) No green beer allowed.

breakfast bialy 1

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Kit Talk

I am gonna let you absorb a little color before I start blabbing away... enjoy.
beads 4
beads 6
beads 5

I doubt there is a person out there that wouldn't love to run their hands through all those beads. OH how awesome they are when they are piled up together. What you are looking at is how I have spent the better part of the past three days. In that pile are more than 225 handmade soft glass lampworked beads (I think a big old bunch of beads deserves a fancier description then '225 beads'). I won't ask you to guess what they are for, the post title gives it away. Yep, they are for kits.

beads 1
beads 3

Now, those that know me well maybe wondering if I have lost my mind. I am known to suffer from a rather severe condition called reactance, lol (click the link and read the definition, it is me to a tee). Knowing I am like this may make you wonder why I would agree to teach classes that would have me doing my least favorite thing (making the same thing over and over because I *have*). To that I say, it is a easy to commit to something eight months before you actually have to do it. I figured I would make beads here and there as time passed and then voila, my kits would be ready in time to teach. YEAH, right! What happened was I made beads like that once in the past eight months and then the other day realized just how many days are left until Bead Fest Wire and that lit a spark under my butt.

Teaching on a national scale is a huge opportunity for me. It is one I don't want to mess up by being a bumbling teacher only half prepared with partial kits and not enough tools. I am taking this very seriously. So, how to react to my reactance and get the job done? Enter my alter ego, Carrie. You remember her don't you? She is the part of me that loves to clean (rather psychotically), likes order and straight lines, and twitches when I, meaning *Kerry*, repeatedly avoids starting a load of laundry when I pass the pile on the way to the studio. For the past three days, I have let that organizational, methodical, big girl part of my brain take over. And I tell ya, when I do that, some pretty amazing things can happen.

the kit 1
beads 9
beads 8

While one part of my mind carefully deducted which beads needed to be made when and in what order, my creative side got to wander and imagine the other things that could be made with these beads. So, as I went along, Carrie set mini goals and rewarded Kerry for her patience... ex: get through the next 6 beads then make a green hollow for yourself. It really was a win/win situation. I have been banging out beads like crazy and working on new designs too!! What could be better?!? I am really taking this on as a personal challenge. I want to prove I can do this. I can make kits, AND I can make them unique and one-of-a-kind. Look close at those photos... no two kits sets are the same. Seriously? Seriously.

Now, some of you may be thinking to yourself (apart from thinking I am nuts for talking about myself with different egos and going so far as to name them) "I can't get all the way to PA for a class, but I want to make a BANG Gal!, is Kerry gonna let me in on any kit action?" The answer is a resounding YES! You just have to be a bit more patient. Here is the plan (plans are important to Carrie, so let her have her way on this), I am making 25 kits for each of the 4 classes I am teaching. What aren't used by my students will be made available under a soon to be added Kit category on my website. When I run out of these kits, I will start to take orders for them. These won't be "custom" orders but rather "made-to" orders. That means I will make an order as I get it in the color combos shown on the item page and those kits will mail out in a set amount of time (I am guessing with in a week). Then, once the novelty of these first 4 kits wears off, I will release other kits from Totally Twisted each month. I am also envisioning special edition kits with different color combos. But note, kits will be created for personal use only and not intended for resale.

I really must say, I feel like such a grown up making this announcement about kits. Seems silly, but for me, I rarely remember that not only am I a Mom, Artist, and Author, but I am a Business Woman too. Acting like a spoiled brat about not wanting to do certain things often sweeps that Business Woman part of me under the rug. I am proud to let her be known more and still maintain my artistic values (like keeping things one-of-a-kind). So, here is to me dawning some big-girl underwear with a purple and blue pin striped suit while my hair is in a bun and I strut around in red shoes.